These crispy and juicy Oven ‘Fried’ Chicken Drumsticks are so yummy, you won’t even miss the fried part! Not only are these chicken drumsticks fast to put together, but they are a very affordable piece of chicken. This is a recipe that your whole family will love! These are the ultimate comfort food that takes not much time to put together!
The dark meat in this oven fried chicken drumsticks are tender, the skin is crackling, and the simple ingredients to make this, are uncomplicated. These oven fried chicken drumsticks are a great addition to add to your dinner rotation any night of the week. This Italian chicken recipe also makes for great leftover chicken the next day. This is a much healthier alternative to fried chicken, and so much cheaper too!
Chicken Drumsticks are Accessible and Affordable
I first made these easy baked Italian chicken drumsticks over 10 years ago when I was really trying to watch our food budget as a newly married couple with a mortgage and student loans. It was very easy for me to gravitate towards chicken drumsticks because, let’s face it, the price is right!
Chicken drumsticks are much cheaper than their chicken breasts counterpart because:
- Less Meat: There’s less meat on a chicken drumstick compared to a chicken breast. Therefore, making it a more affordable cut of chicken.
- Less Demand: When people think of cuts of chicken, their minds go straight to chicken breasts. As a society, our minds have been hard-wired to lean towards chicken breasts because they are a less fatty cut of meat.
- Less Labor: Removing chicken bones and skin is very labor intensive. By purchasing chicken drumsticks, you’re not having to pay high prices for these to be removed.
The Players aka The Ingredients for the Oven Fried Chicken Drumstick Recipe
- Chicken Drumsticks: I love to use drumsticks for this recipe but feel free to use chicken thighs too! A combination of both drumsticks and thighs would work well
- Breadcrumbs: I like to use store bought seasoned breadcrumbs. You can also use plain breadcrumbs, I would just increase the amount of Italian seasoning to 2 teaspoons instead of 1.
- Eggs: The eggs help the breading adhere to the breadcrumb coating. Additionally, you can use liquid eggs if you prefer. I would use 1/2 cup to substitute for the eggs.
- Milk: I prefer to use whole milk, but feel free to use what you have at home.
- Hot Sauce: This is optional, but I feel this brings a lot of flavor to the egg mixture. You really don’t get any heat from the amount of hot sauce used, but feel free to use more if you want it super spicy.
- Parmesan cheese: I purchase the block Parmesan cheese from the store so I can grate it myself. The pre-shredded cheese that you find at grocery stores has a chemical coating on them that makes the cheese hard to melt.
- Italian Seasoning: I love the combination of all the flavors in the Italian seasoning. If you don’t’ have Italian seasoning on hand, you can make your own by mixing together: ¼ teaspoon basil, ¼ teaspoon rosemary, ¼ teaspoon thyme and ¼ teaspoon oregano.
- Smoked Paprika: This brings a subtle smokiness to the breading without overpowering the chicken. Feel free to use plain Paprika if that’s what you have.
- Garlic Powder: I like to use garlic powder instead of freshly minced garlic so that the garlic is evenly distributed in the breading.
- Onion Powder: You can use finely chopped brown or yellow onion as a substitute to the onion powder if you prefer. I would probably use a ¼ cup of finely diced onion.
- Salt & Black Pepper: This pair helps with flavoring and seasoning the drumsticks.
- Melted Butter: These will help give a crispiness to the chicken drumsticks that you would get if you fried them, but much healthier since we’re using so little butter. You can also use extra virgin olive oil if you prefer.
How to Make Easy Oven-Fried Italian Chicken Drumsticks:
These chicken drumsticks are super easy to make for busy weeknights that really require little effort!
To get started on this simple recipe, I like to use a large rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan and place in it a cookie sheet. Spray the cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. I prefer this method because it gets the chicken drumsticks off the bottom of the pan and allows the heat to cook from underneath. This also prevents having a soggy chicken bottom.
Additionally, you can use a large 15”x 10” baking dish that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray.
Now is the time to start mixing together your wet ingredients. In a shallow bowl or cake pan, whisk together your eggs, milk, and hot sauce. Set aside.
n a separate shallow bowl or large mixing bowl, mix together your breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasonings together.
Get your workstation all set up with your wet ingredients, breadcrumb mixture, chicken drumsticks, and prepared cookie sheet all together.
Take one chicken drumstick and roll it around in the egg and milk mixture. Then remove it from the wet ingredients and roll it around in the breadcrumb mixture, taking care to cover the drumstick thoroughly with breadcrumbs. Place chicken onto rimmed baking sheet. Continue this process with the remaining drumsticks.
Pro Tip: I like to keep one hand for the egg/milk mixture and one hand for the breadcrumb mixture. This helps from getting breadcrumbs in the egg/milk mixture and vice versa.
Once all your chicken has been breaded, pour the melted butter evenly over all of the drumsticks and bake in your preheated oven that’s been set to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 50 -55 minutes. Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes, so the juices stay in the chicken. This is what give this tender chicken the best flavor and crispy skin!
Optional: I like to top this off with Italian herbs like fresh parsley (or parsley flakes), or fresh oregano. Using fresh herbs elevates this chicken dish by giving it a clean flavor and yummy aroma.
Watch me make this Easy Oven Fried Italian Chicken Drumstick recipe on my YouTube Channel!
What Temperature Should Chicken Drumsticks Be Cooked At?
To check the internal temperature of chicken drumsticks, you can place a food thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken drumstick. When the juices run clear and the temperature reaches 170 degrees F.
What to serve with these Easy Oven-Fried Italian Chicken Drumsticks?
The side dishes are endless when it comes to serving Oven Fried Chicken Drumsticks! Here are some great side ideas:
- Creamy Stove-Top Macaroni & Cheese
- Simple Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots.
- Roasted Green Beans
- Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet Cornbread
- Rice Pilaf
Can I use other cuts of Chicken?
Absolutely! You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you prefer white meat. Additionally, you can juicy chicken thighs. You can use any type of chicken pieces you have in your fridge or freezer. Or mix and match! If I have chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs in my freezer I need to use, I’ll use a combination of both. This baked chicken recipe is meant for you to utilize cheaper cuts of chicken and being able to use what you have in your freezer.
Looking for other easy dinner ideas? Check these recipes out next!
- Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Dinner
- Shrimp Scampi with Linguine
- Albondigas Mexican Meatball Soup
Pin it for Later!
If you end up trying this Easy Oven Fried Italian Chicken Drumsticks recipe, leave me a comment down below telling me what you served with this! I hope you love this as much as my family does.
Easy Oven-Fried Italian Chicken Drumsticks
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce optional
- 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 12 chicken drumsticks
- 4 tbsp melted butter (1/4 cup)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and set rack to middle of oven. Take a large cookie sheet and place cooling rack on top and spray rack with non-stick cooking spray. You can also use a large baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray if you prefer.
- In a pie pan or shallow bowl, beat 2 eggs and add milk and hot sauce, if you're using hot sauce. Whisk well.
- In a separate pie pan or shallow bowl, mix breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, seasonings, salt and pepper.
- Take one chicken drumstick and dunk in egg and milk mixture. Then coat the drumstick with the breadcrumb mixture. Place drumstick on cooling rack and do the same with the other drumsticks.
- Drizzle melted butter over chicken drumsticks evenly.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until drumsticks are cooked to 170 degrees F.
- Allow to cool on rack for 10 minutes before serving. Top with fresh parsley. Enjoy!